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The 9/11 Decade: A Lost Cousin Remembered

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Melissa Doi was one of the many victims of the 9/11 attacks and her cousin, Dianne LoPriore, can still remember the horrific phone calls from that day. Immediately after seeing the attacks on TV that morning, LoPriore called her husband and then spoke with her sister, who also worked at the World Trade Center.

"They were screeching like mice," LoPriore said of the phone call with her sister, who had made it out of the towers safely.

She couldn't reach her cousin though.

"When the second plane hit, I'll never forget, I just fell back on my kids bed and said 'Oh my god, this is really bad,'" LoPriore said.

Doi was killed that day, but her voice lived on in a 911 emergency call that got through to dispatchers. The grim phone call , which can be heard online, details Doi's dire situation in the smoking tower as she describes her last moments in fear.

"Innocent lives were taken that day," LoPriore said. "My cousin just wanted to be married one day and have kids, and she never got to experience that,"

Doi had started working for IQ Financial on the 83rd floor of the World Trade Center in May 2001.

When the first plane struck the World Trade Center on 9/11 Doi was in a state of confusion. Originally, LoPriore said, Doi and her coworkers thought that it was a bomb that had gone off. After making their way down several flights of stairs, Doi and coworkers were told it was safe to go back up.

"When they got to the 44th floor they were making announcements to go back, that the building was safe," LoPriore said. "What happened was the elevator opened and it was full and the only person to get on was Melissa and Melissa said to her coworker I'll meet you upstairs on the 78th floor."

Doi made her way back up the tower, not knowing the dangers she faced in doing so.

"What we think happened is right after Melissa went upstairs to the 78th floor, the second plane hit," LoPriore said.

LoPriore still can recall the faintest of details from the next few days while searching for her cousin in Manhattan.

"The whole city was empty," she said. "I could see down Lexington Avenue. I had never been in Manhattan when there were no people or no traffic. Nothing. Just silence. And just the smell, it was a very metallic smell."

They never found Doi, though. It took three years for her remains to be found. Her 911 recorded phone call was used by the FBI in 2006 as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the conspirators of the attacks. It was still just a harsh reminder to LoPriore and her family of the tragic fate her cousin had met.

"We just wanted it to happen and go away," she said. "We didn't want to relive it again and again."

After 10 years have passed since the attacks of 9/11, LoPriore still can't forget her cousin and the events of that day.

"We just miss her," she said.

Do you have any personal experiences from the tragic events of 9/11? Do you want to share them with others? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook or twitter .

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